THE BIG LONG
Stablemate Andrew “Kiwi” Thompson squashed the competition at the Track Wars XVII – Epic 12-hour timed race, storming home in first place with a tremendous distance of 120km. Sweet!
Gathering at the Xcel Sports Hub in Walton-on-Thames, England, the ultra warriors contended with on-and-off showers and a mixture of cloudy and sunny spells that saw temperatures reaching into the 20s℃. Nothing to moan about there, then—apart from 300 loops of the flat oval, that is.
The Stable News’ tartan track technician, Ally “the Chin” Smith, met up with the Kiwi to hear about all the pain and glory:
Ally: Woohoo, Andrew! Fantastic work, my man. Victory is yours! Was this also a PB, by any chance?
Andrew: This was my first (and probably last!) timed track run, so it was my PB. It was the longest I’ve ever run, both in terms of time and distance.
Ally: Hahaha, yeah, I can’t imagine you’ll be rushing back to do this again. How did it all come about?
Andrew: I was initially aiming for an A goal of 130km. But a couple of illnesses in my build-up, as well as my two-year-old being sick (= lack of sleep) in the week building up, meant I wasn’t on A goal form, unfortunately.
I started strong and didn’t stop running for the first 75km, at which point I was on for 130km, but my HR was ticking over at 160 already, and I still had 5.5 hours to go. I realized this wasn’t sustainable, and I was feeling pretty physically and mentally gone, so I managed my effort to my C goal of 120km.
There were some dark times, but I knew I was going to finish, and I crossed the line for the 120km lap with about three minutes to go. Completely shattered, I immediately started shivering uncontrollably, despite it being 20℃ still, and had to drive myself 15 minutes home, where I ordered Domino’s and lay on the couch, unable to move for three hours.
Ally: Piece of p*ss, mate, ha-ha. No, seriously; that’s some shift you put in, and you deserve all the Domino’s you like—until the next race, that is. Which is?
Andrew: Valencia Marathon, I’ll just get another order sent in before Stazza has me on the endurance spine.
Ally: Excellent; order me a large Hawaiian while you’re at it.
Coach Stazza called the News as he was swinging back and forth on his hammock:
“An unbelievable 12-hour début for the Kiwi … He kept within himself and pulled back just enough to keep going and get the win … A superb performance, Andrew … Well done.”